The Plague Monkeys

(Presently in the YAP Films Library)

60 minutes • Documentary • Produced in association with: CBC, A&E and Channel 4 • Production year: 1994

THE PLAGUE MONKEYS is a documentary film that dramatically recounts the chilling events leading up to the emergence of the deadly Ebola virus. Shot on location in Africa, Europe and North America, the documentary features interviews with Ebola survivors and the small group of daring scientists who risk their lives in confronting nature’s greatest monsters.

This terrifying story moves from the pristine university town of Marburg, Germany, where the first strain was reported; to the rain forests of northern Zaire; to the teeming markets of Kinshasa; to the high-tech labs of the U.S military where space-suited scientists work with the most dangerous viruses known to humanity, always mindful of the fact that they are only a needle-stick away from certain death.

In the end, we learn an unforgettable truth; the emergence of AIDS was not an isolated event, an accident of nature, but part of a frightening pattern of new viruses that may threaten our very existence in the coming years.

Director: Elliot Halpern
Location Director: Ric Esther Bienstock
Producer: Simcha Jacobovici

Award Highlights

  • Emmy Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism
  • Gemini Award for Best Direction in a documentary
  • Silver Hugo, Chicago International Film Festival
  • Gold Plaque, INTERCOM
  • Silver Hugo, INTERCOM